Expedition cruise ship Hanseatic has navigated the Northeast Passage for the second time, completing its journey through the Arctic Ocean sea route in the early hours of September 7, 2016. After sailing a total of 5,542 nautical miles, the ship will arrive in Nome on September 10 and officially end its cruise.
In 2014, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Hanseatic became the first non-Russian cruise ship to navigate the Northeast Passage, which runs along the north coasts of Asia
, from the Bering Strait to the White Sea.
The ship’s second expedition through the legendary sea route departed from Tromso, Norway
on August 16, 2016. The first port of call was Murmansk, Russia, where the adventure of the Northeast Passage officially began. After cruising through the Barents Sea/Arctic Ocean, Hanseatic stopped at anchor in Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land, before the ship went on through the Kara Sea to Severnaya Zemlya. Other stops at anchor took place off Siberia, Wrangel Island and Chukchi Island.
The transit through the Northeast Passage officially ended at 6 a.m. on September 7, when the ship rounded Cape Dezhnev.
The cruise was fully booked. The crew organized 20 landings and tours with the 14 on-board Zodiacs, rubber boats, which are well suited to expeditions. During wildlife observations, guests saw walruses and polar bears. On one island, 16 polar bears at the same time were seen, some even mothers with their babies. In total 86 polar bears were counted from the bridge.
“The Northeast Passage is a spectacular voyage and always will be. This route is not comparable to a regular cruise,” said Captain Natke. “Nature impresses with unique and exciting insights. On this cruise we have seen a high number of polar bears. I have never before seen so many polar bears on an Arctic cruise. Furthermore, we have seen the fantastic Northern Lights and enjoyed three sunny days with blue skies at Wrangel Island.”